Sunday, April 09, 2006

B.C. Construction Companies Recruiting Overseas

B.C.'s booming construction industry is going all the way to India and the Middle East to recruit skilled workers, to help contractors cope with their pre-Olympic people shortage.

One immigration consulting firm in Surrey is even providing training classes for would-be migrants in the Punjab, so they can learn Canadian construction techniques.

"The training we are providing in Punjab, we provide a database of candidates who already have experience in different trades," said Sanjeev Bhatta of Focus Immigration.

He says 15 new clients have come to him just in the last few months looking for help in bringing workers to Canada on short-term contracts.

"Every day we get new clients wanting carpenters, drywallers, even welders. We have a company in Alberta and Saskatchewan even, they want 50 welders," he said.

"We are going all over India advertising in newspapers and classified ads. We're inviting people to submit resumes on our website, and we maintain a database and present the database to clients and arrange interviews."

Bhatta says Canadian immigration rules make it difficult to hire people from that part of the world. A job here has to go unfilled for months, before a foreigner becomes eligible to fill it.

But construction experts in the Fraser Valley say with all the new pre-2010 building going on, short-term workers from overseas may soon be filling the gaps for many more local companies.


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